The article, "Bruce Babitt's Ghost," written by Ed Marston in the Jan. 25 edition of The Inlander expressed the kind of divisiveness that Americans are really tired of. I am disappointed that this paper would include this kind of partisan politics and call it "analysis" when it really belongs on the opinion page.
The author frames the energy crisis as President Bush vs. the environmentalists in regards to drilling the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This country needs to be as energy independent as possible. We could be thrown into a recession as we have in the past by oil shortages and high prices. This country can develop its natural resources, protect the environment and jobs just as we did when building the Alaska oil pipeline. There were certain groups then that said the pipeline would be an ecological disaster. It was not.
The author's solution to the energy problem is through a "Bush recession and conservation." Does anyone else seriously believe that Bush caused a recession in the first two weeks he has held office? I think what the author is really saying by the tone of the article is that he has a problem with a Bush presidency. Leave it on the opinion page, please.
In response to the article, "An Eyesore For Your Ears," in the Feb. 1 edition of The Inlander, I'd like to point out that the neighborhoods and skyline of Spokane are under siege by yet another company from the telecommunication industry. Cricket Communication has just recently come to Spokane, currently the eighth player in the field, seeking to build towers and antennae on every square mile between Cheney and Coeur d'Alene. Do we really need this?
They plan to put in 80-foot, mono-pole antennae plus electrical facilities in R-1 zoned neighborhoods. The current zoning regulations were enacted in 1996 with the assumption that three or four companies would seek to offer service here, not eight.
St. Augustine Church's Monsignor Pearson has signed a 30-year lease with Cricket Communication of Tulsa, Okla. (kind of a Wal-Mart in the telecom industry), for $900 a month for five years, and the price goes up every five years until it reaches $1,600 a month.
Is this a Faustian bargain or what? Now all they have to do is get the hearing examiner to approve the request, and we have an 80-foot, mono-pole tower situated 25 feet from the sidewalk along 19th Avenue, just west of Bernard that will ruin the view of the church tower. Spokane is being trashed again!
The technology in 1996 was primitive compared to today, and the existing regulations are inadequate. Towers are an antiquated and unnecessary means of deploying personal wireless facilities.
The 90-day moratorium on the building of cell towers provides an opportunity for the Planning Commission and City Council to refine our telecommunication regulations and make them relevant to 2001. Let's hope they take advantage of it.
I would like to recommend to all of California that residents there perhaps try to conserve what power they can get. I fly in and out of California several times a month at night and have noticed two things: First, every outdoor sporting facility with lights has them on; and second, they seem to have way more street lights than necessary. I would like to suggest that they turn off half of the street lights and start playing their sports during daylight only. Then perhaps they wouldn't be in the situation they are now.